I apologize for the inconsistent spacing, after 3 days of trying I gave up trying to have WordPress cooperate.
Now that I’m well into the 2nd trimester I’m finally feeling human again. I was more sick, for a longer time this time around, hopefully my weight won’t decide to make up for lost time, I’m not really changing how I eat so I’m just hoping for the best.
Because of this temporary setback there have been many things that I have been wanting to write about and hadn’t been able to so this post will be a mixed bag of topics so please forgive me for my randomness.
I got some interesting feedback from my last post about child leashes, I was surprised at how much positive feedback I got. The only negative feedback came from people that didn’t read the entire post and thus didn’t notice that I already addressed the points that they were bringing up.
The leash came in super handy a few weeks ago when we took Shammy to the Renaissance Faire, he was able to walk and explore without risk of losing him in the crowds of having him run into a sword demonstration or similar dangerous situation. We saw over a dozen parents with the same idea. There was a wide assortment of animals on toddler’s backs, more than I have ever seen in my life… cumulatively!
When I talk to people about how I use cloth diapers often times they say something “but you must use disposables at daycare right?”…. no. When I do some probing on those that us cloth as well I learn that they never even asked the daycare provider if cloth diapers would be ok. I can understand if they asked and were given a flat no but most just assume it’s not an option. I have never had a problem having a babysitter or daycare provider reject my request to use cloth and for all of them it was their first time even hearing of their existence, I just showed them how easy it is, encouraged them to try it once and that was it. This shows that if approached the right way it can be done. I haven’t found a law, DCF or DOH regulation that prohibits a daycare from using cloth so that is a lame and ignorant excuse. The Real Diaper Association’s website has good information for parents and daycare providers to overcome this bias.
Since the last post I have started a new volunteer gig as the bookkeeper for Best for Babes Foundation, I love how I get to use my accounting skills to help moms breastfeed successfully.
Baby Fox #2 doesn’t get a new nursery, right now Shammy’s “room” is just a place for changing diapers and storing clothes so I don’t plan to redecorate. Then again I discovered a Cat in the Hat nursery collection that is so cute that does make me want to redecorate but really, that is a lot of money on something that is not necessary.
I have gotten some interesting reactions from people about our birthing decision for #2, it’s as though some of the cruncy mamas in the area simply can’t understand why I wouldn’t plan another homebirth. If there was a new local midwife in the area that did VBACs and had no relation with the currently operating midwives AND had knowledge of scar tissue in the cervix’s effect on dilation, I would consider it, but we don’t live in such a world. I’m ok with the judgment, I don’t need them to understand, I just need them to stop recommending the same midwife that we won’t hire, lol.
Things have been quieter than usual on this blog lately. It’s very hard to be inspired and write when dealing with morning sickness. Yes, that’s right I’m knocked up again and Baby Fox #2 is expected sometime around mid July.
So I’m going to avoid confusion by posting answers to frequently asked questions. Future blog posts will be a combination of bump updates and Shammy.
– are you still breastfeeding?
yes I am still breastfeeding
– are you going to wean now that you’re pregnant?
that is up to Shammy, besides, even if I wanted to, he takes no for an answer and he’s a very persuasive fellow
– are you planning a VBAC?
No. This was a very hard decision to make but after researching our options, there was no local viable option (no local OB’s do them, all local hospitals ban them, we don’t want to hire the local midwives that do them and I don’t feel comfortable going unassisted. There is a doctor just over an hour away that does them but even if he took me I didn’t feel like spending an hour plus on I-95 while in labor.
Additionally, I believe that scar tissue in my cervix interfered with my first labor and as already confirmed with this pregnancy, my cervix still has it so that would drop my chances of success and I don’t want to set myself up for failure.
-How are you feeling?
This is probably the only time that I’ll answer this question without being snappy. I feel like crap and it’s been pretty much constant for 2 months. I had morning sickness from hell happening almost 24 hours a day every day. I lost 9 pounds as a result and had to go on medication. I never experienced it so bad with Shammy, I would wake up from a deep sleep ready to hurl, that’s how I didn’t get a break.
Now that the morning sickness is getting better, I get to enjoy swollen nasal passages, environmental allergies (which I only get when pregnant), lower back pain and recurring headaches. I have barely taken prenatal vitamins this time around because I’ve been so sick, now when I feel better and I try to take them my stomach stamps them “return to sender” before my body can absorb any nutrients so I think that baby is taking calcium from my teeth since I’m not getting enough of it as I’m now having dental problems as well. So yes, this pregnancy has been kicking my @$$, I’m pretty close to useless and struggle just to keep up with the hyper toddler, my house is such a disaster zone that it’s overwhelming to think about it.
My morning sickness is no longer constant but I still get it daily from several triggers, I still can’t stand the sight or smell of cooking food. Sadly this means that Shammy’s diet while at home has suffered because I’m not able to work so much on his meals. Not that he seems to mind as he’s taken to rejecting most of the things I make him and instead prefers to snack all day.
– Who’s your prenatal care provider?
Sadly I’m stuck with a group OB practice as my local options were limited. They are…. ok. I didn’t appreciate being told that I lost weight for still breastfeeding (completely ignoring the fact that I could barely eat for weeks) and being told that if I have a boy, I HAVE TO pay $463 for the circumcision and then looking at me confused when I tell them that I don’t have to pay anything and I won’t. After my first appointment I was sent home with a “goody bag” sponsored by Similac full of crap from the formula companies doing their thing to undermine breastfeeding from the first trimester ::sigh::
– What would you do differently?
I don’t have any regrets from last time, it would have been nice if I have kept up with prenatal yoga but I’m not even trying it this time around. Something that I do want is to get a photo of me and hubby with baby at hospital, Shammy was over 2 weeks old before we had the first photo of the 3 of us taken.
– What are you craving?
In very early pregnancy I was craving ground beef, anything with ground beef. Later on I just crave salty things, sweet things make me nauseous. Like with Shammy I’m once again craving soda. My biggest craving is for a Mexican dish from a specific restaurant in Puerto Rico 🙁
It’s amusing and annoying how some people get defensive at stuff that was in no way aimed at them and accuse me of not giving first time parents a “break”, it seems people forget that I was once a first timer and technically I still am. Whether this is your 1st kid or your 10th, all I say is “inform yourself!”
… Apparently the giant contraction from hell took even more out of him than it did of me. That’s when I noticed that the midwife got all serious and down to business and next thing I knew I was being setup in the couch and being told “your baby needs to be born right now!” and being told to push.
The challenge with pushing is that they tell you to make it as if you’re having a bowel movement, but my problem is that for many years I had made a habit of not pushing that way so I had no idea how to go about it as I had been counting on getting the natural urge to push but baby was still too high up for that to kick in.
I knew that things were getting tense as Sandra was on the phone with 911 while I was trying to figure out how the hell I push down into my perineum instead of my stomach. I had no trouble breathing but I did feel compelled to say “I think I need oxygen” and it was already on it’s way to me. I knew that the oxygen was for baby and not for me and that things would start to stabilize after that.
After a few minutes in come bursting in a crew of EMT’s as I’m completely naked and spread and in mid-push, I had no sense of modesty and I didn’t care. I was just glad for someone to take over as I didn’t care for the midwife getting on top of my belly and pushing down.
I’m quickly loaded up into a stretcher and hooked up to all sorts of stuff and taken out into the ambulance, it was a surreal experience, almost like something out of a TV drama scene but I felt more calm than I had been for a while, I wasn’t worried and knew that baby would be safe.
The midwife was riding with me in the back and my husband was forced to ride in front of the ambulance. That part sucked as this man had been sticking by me for so long and here we are in the middle of a tense moment and he is pushed into the background. I was too busy to really miss him but I sure would have preferred his close presence.
Riding in an ambulance strapped on your back while having contractions was something I didn’t want for that is a horrible position to manage the pain in, add to that the fact that it was a bumpy ride to the hospital and the trip felt like it took an hour even though I knew that it was only a few minutes since they had the sirens on and didn’t stop at any traffic lights.
We made it into the hospital where I’m wheeled straight up to L & D and hooked up to monitors, a doctor comes in and hooks up an internal monitor so I can now hear what baby’s heartbeat is up to. They have me in there ready to push for a while and in the meantime I notice that his heartbeat is perfect until I get a contraction and drops even further if I push during that contraction. I’m sitting here wondering why nobody else is noticing that pattern and it makes me not want to put as much effort into pushing.
As it is I wasn’t feeling the pushing to be that effective even though I could feel the baby’s head at the top of the canal it wasn’t low enough and the position of his head was not going to make matters easier for a decent specially from the position that they forced me to be in. I was not allowed to sit up or move because of the monitors so baby would have to work against gravity and there was no time for that.
I decided to follow my instinct and not push during contractions, when they saw a contraction in the monitor and told me to push I faked it.
My contractions had been spreading out so there were less opportunities to push and I just wanted to either be allowed to sit up to have gravity help baby along or stop wasting time. The next time I had to push the doctor was there to witness the decelerations in the baby’s heartbeat and I saw by the look in his face that I was right to not feel like pushing. That is when he stopped everything and immediately confirmed what I already knew and explained that an emergency c-section would be best since my water had been broken for so long and therefore we were running against the clock and couldn’t wait for baby to drop on his own. At this point I must add that the midwife told the hospital that my water had broken at 4:30pm the previous day instead of the actual 9am, this is another thing that she had asked us to “back her up” on.
At this point I knew that it was coming and had time to prepare myself for it so I didn’t experience the trauma that I would have otherwise expected, by the time it was said I had already come to peace with it and my mothering instinct had already told me what to do.
After that it didn’t take very long to get prepared and transported to the operating room, my biggest anxiety was about the anesthesia and not the surgery itself. It must be the part about holding still while a giant needle went into my spine and being afraid that a contraction would hit and make me move, I had a very good supportive nurse that got me through the process quickly.
Daddy Fox was brought in and sat by my head after I was numbed and strapped and the doctor wasted no time going in, within seconds I heard a delightful cry of an angel and I hear my husband saying “he’s out!” (we still didn’t know the gender at that point). We then asked through the curtain “what is it?”. When we heard “it’s a boy!” THAT’s when I really started crying and I looked at my husband and said “we got our Shammy!”
We had been calling this baby Shammy all throughout pregnancy and even though we never had any ultrasounds to check the gender we always used “he/him” when talking about the baby so I wasn’t surprised to hear that it’s a boy.
Within seconds they took daddy away from me to be with baby and daddy got to talk to him and touch him while they did their usual newborn stuff (wipe, weigh, measure, prick, etc). I am glad that at least daddy still got to cut the cord. After what felt like an eternity they brought me a bundled angel to meet and touch and I was instantly in love.
Baby and daddy were ready to go to the room but I wasn’t so I had to lie and wait while they went off to show Shammy more of this new world he had just come out to. Annoyingly I had to sit in the OR longer than I wanted because the doctor dropped the needle driver on the floor and they had to wait for a new one to be delivered which took way too long when all you want to do is hold your baby.
I first found out about this when the surgeon starts cussing in Spanish because he didn’t know that I was understanding every word. So I got to lay there open for what felt like an eternity while my baby was being wheeled away, at least I got the consolation that he was with daddy and even though I lost a decent amount of blood they were eventually able to close me up and I joined Shammy about 30 mins later.
I was still under anesthesia and my body temperature had dropped below normal so instead of being able to have baby skin to skin with me they had to pile me up with special warming blankets and I got to watch my baby squirm around in the warmer next to me. I was sad that they wouldn’t put him on my chest under the blankets so that we would both be warm.
After a while I was able to finally hold him despite still being mostly paralyzed in bed but he wasn’t interested in breastfeeding right away as he was too overstimulated from all of the recent action.
A few hours later when he was more relaxed I offered my breast and he latched on like a pro that had been doing it all his life. I immediately understood what all of the breastfeeding mothers had said about the hormonal feeling that you get and I must agree with them. It was quite the amazing natural high that is repeated at every session.
A lot of people suddenly feel sorry for me because my birth didn’t go according to plan and I got my “biggest fear”come true, do not despair. I do not feel cheated, disempowered or let down by my experience because I know that I did everything in my power to avoid it and the gods simply had other plans. Even in my moments of greatest tension my logical brain never failed me and when it came down to the wire my logical side and mother’s instinct were in agreement as to what was best given the circumstances.
This experience is what I CHOOSE to make of it and I choose to cherish the lessons and joy of the journey than get hung up on little details over something that I knew from the beginning would not be under my control.
I am still glad for the 28 hours of labor that allowed me to experience the process as it should be, to connect to that primal side of myself (even though that side did step out on break several times throughout) and most of all knowing that the hormones that baby and I enjoyed during that time of natural labor served to pave the way to prepare us for the birth experience in a way that no hospital could have duplicated.
I am blessed to have the birth support team that I had as they were truly invaluable to my experience. My husband’s love and dedication was present constantly from the beginning and he rarely left my side. Our doula was amazing and I wouldn’t have been able to get through the final contractions before transition without the constant coaching of our midwife, I do feel betrayed by our midwife due to her illegal actions that were dangerous and the fact that after she left the hospital shortly after Shammy was born she disappeared on us and didn’t visit or call until sending an e-mail days later.
I honestly don’t feel like a failure, because I let go all my attachment to it being about ME when I found out I was pregnant. This was a journey of trust, surrender and humility and when I got to see me my baby for the first time I couldn’t have cared less about how he got here as all I cared about was that he was finally here.
So don’t worry about me, just worry about the moms that feel that have no choice or make the choice that is not right for them.
Coming soon (sometime), the post-partum recovery report…